Fighting Dogs vs. Guard Dogs…

July 12, 2010

Fighting Dogs are a perplexing group of dogs to comment on. The majority of them are loving pets with adults and children. The problem is that when they go awry, they are exceptionally dangerous because when they bite, they hold on with exceptional determination and won’t let go. They also have the inclination to lose their loving nature when they enter a pack of dogs more aggressive than themselves. Exceptions are Boxers, Bulldogs and Bostons who seem to have lost their fighting and negative traits. Do not purchase puppies when either parent is aloof or distrusting! If you purchase one of these breeds, accept the fact that it may never get on well with other dogs and may eat cats, birds, etc. Early socialization is a MUST for these breeds. Some Fighter Dog breeds include:

-Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
-American Pit Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-American Bulldog
-Bull Terrier
-English Bull Mastiff
-English Bulldog
-Olde English Bulldog
-Boston Terrier
-French Bulldog

Guard Dogs are just what their name implies. They guard you and your children from perceived threats by barking and/or biting. A good-tempered dog of this class will differentiate the mailman, garbage-man, your guests, relatives, your children’s wild playmates and the veterinarian from burglars. Unfortunately some make the wrong decision. You need to be strongly assertive and in charge with these breeds so they look to you for decisions regarding strangers. If your wife or husband is passive or submissive to dogs, do not purchase one of these breeds. Passive or submissive people rarely overcome this problem by attending dog obedience school. Like with fighting dogs, these dogs also need early socialization as puppies. Some of these dogs have aggressive temperaments that make them undesirable as pets. Chow Chows, Akitas, Great Danes and large Rottweilers are not known for their long life spans. With the exception of Danes and Alsatians, these dogs are also prone to eyelid defects. Be sure to check the parents’ eyes for inflammation, squinting and infection and ask if corrective eyelid surgery was performed on either parent. Some Guard Dog breeds include:

-Akita Inu
-Asian Mastiff (Dosa)
-Chow Chow
-Great Dane
-English Mastiff
-Pyrenese Mastiff
-Shar-Pei (Chinese Shar-Pei)
-Tibetian Mastiff
-Argentinian Dogo (Dogo Argentino, Argentinian Mastiff)

What do these 2 groups have in common? Well, fighter dogs make good guard dogs as well due to their temperament and territoriality; while a lot of the guard dog breeds can be excellent fighter breeds due to their latent aggression as well. Both need early socialiation and professional obedience training to become balanced and loving pets.

Two dogs fighting

Category: Dog Facts

Canines in Shining Armor…Our Wardogs from the Past…

July 12, 2010

We are all familiar with the stories of Lancelot, and King Arthur. Our Knights in Shining Armor, from our childhood stories….well what about the canines in shining armor? We should not forget about these dogs of war, that for some reason went unnoticed in the legends about knights and fair maidens! Did you know that in the Middle Ages, Mastiffs were dressed in light armor from head to toe? A pot of flaming sulphur was strapped to their armor… Yes…they were then made to run into battle against mounted knights.

And what about the Second World War? Russians trained dogs to run suicide missions between the tracks of German tanks with mines strapped on their backs! But long before this, war dogs were also used before the birth of Christ. Most popular, were war dogs in the Germanic tribes. When the Roman legions set foot on English soil, their dogs wore shining armor and had “wide bodies and stocky figures”. This makes us think of our modern mastiff dog breeds.

The Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Phoenician cultures also left records of having had huge war dogs fighting alongside them. These were the Mollosus breeds. They get their name from the Greek Island of Mollus, and these days, the name Mollosus is the collective group name for the Mastiffs.

During the times of war, these war dogs would walk in front of the Greek and Assyrian legions, for two reasons: Firstly to be the initial target in case the opposition fired, and secondly so that they could find out where the enemy was positioned according to scent. These dogs were given collars of armor with protruding knives so that when they were let free they caused a significant blood-bath between the soldiers and the horses they attacked. Another tactic was to let the owner of the Mastiff walk in front of the beast. Meanwhile a slave led the “ammunition-ed” dog behind the owner on a leash. When the owner saw trouble and was attacked by the enemy, the slave immediately let the beast go, and he in turn rushed to attack the enemy and to save his master….The blood-bath that followed I will leave up to your imagination…..

Category: Dog Stories

The World’s Worst Genetic Mutation in a Dog:

July 12, 2010

No, this dog does not have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s genes and no ….she hasn’t even spent a day at the gym. That’s right. She. Meet Wendy. The Whippet. Not exactly the most feminine representative of her breed, Wendy is a result of a genetic mutation. I first thought she was the best altered digital photo of the century, but (sadly?) she is real! Wendy – the dog whose appearance is a long way from the usual long, lean and sleek look of her breed- lives on a farm in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada and is what scientists refer to as : “ double-muscled” or a ” Bully Whippet”. Due to the genetic defect, nature rewarded her with twice the muscle size compared to the other representatives of her breed. Resembling the cross between Schwarzenegger and the Incredible Hulk, Wendy still has the heart, lungs and head of a normal-sized Whippet. Only her musculature is twice that of her breed.


Category: Dog Stories

Here's a Quick List of the FCI Dog Breed Groups:

July 12, 2010

Under which group does your dog fall? FCI means the “Fédération Cynologique Internationale” which is a dog breed standards organization. It promotes and protects purebred dogs.

The list of FCI Groups for Dog Breeds:

Group 1 – Pastoral
Group 2 – Mastiffs & Pinschers
Group 3 – Terriers
Group 4 – Dachshunds
Group 5 – Spitz breeds
Group 6 – Scenthounds
Group 7 – Pointers & Setters
Group 8 – Retrievers & Spaniels
Group 9 – Toys
Group 10 – Sighthounds

For a more detailed list of dog breeds that are classified according to the 10 FCI groups, read further……

Category: Dog Facts

The Naked Truth About Hairless Dog Breeds!

July 12, 2010

We have probably all seen the interesting dog breeds that are labeled as the hairless breeds. Some would call them disgusting; some would call them strange, but more often than not the reactions are due to a lack of knowledge. What do we really know about the naked dog breeds? For years, scientists have believed that the hairless dog breeds originate from Africa and Asia. However there is not much evidence to back up this theory. One theory states that the Chinese Crested – one of the better known of the hairless breeds- originated in Africa and then moved onto Asia. So how did most of the hairless breeds end up in Latin America? Well scientists believe that all the hairless breeds in Latin America are descendents of the Chinese Crested that were brought to the continent in pre-Columbian times. Their popularity rose, as the Inca’s found that the naked, furless bodies were good for rheumatoid complaints. Much like a hot-water bottle!The hairlessness is due to a dominant gene. It is enough to have even one such gene to be totally naked!! Thus this trait is hard to outwit with human intervention, since it is enough for a dog to pass on only one gene, for the offspring to be hairless. It becomes easier to understand how these breeds can develop in distant areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America under these circumstances. There is only one hairless breed that needs two genes for hairlessness to occur. That is the American Hairless Terrier.

American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier

 So which are the other 8 dogs that fall under the hairless category?

Category: Dog Facts

What Everybody Ought to Know About Flyball…the Ultimate Dog Sport!

July 12, 2010

Euro Puppy is fascinated by Flyball… What is Flyball? Well, Flyball is a relay dog sport in which teams of four dogs run a race against each other from a start to finish line. They have to jump over a line of hurdles, to reach a box. When the dog presses this spring-loaded box-pad, a tennis ball is released and caught by the dog. The dogs then run back over the hurdles once more; to their handlers while carrying the ball. Flyball was invented in California in the 1970s, and mostly took off during the 1980s when the first flyball organization, the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) was created. Their aim was to promote the sport and to design uniform competition rules. A second for-profit organization has emerged in the last few years. They go by the name of United Flyball League International (U-FLI). There may be slight changes in the rules in the US, the UK and New Zealand, where Flyball is very popular.

A Flyball course consists of four hurdles placed 10 feet (3 m) apart from each other, with the starting line 6 feet (1.8 m) from the first hurdle. The flyball box is placed 15 feet (4.5 m) after the last hurdle. This creates a 51-foot (15.5 m) track length. The hurdle height is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team. The North American Flyball Association stipulates that that hurdle height should be 4 inches (10 cm) below the withers height of the smallest dog, to a height of no less than 7 inches (20.3 cm) and no greater than 14 inches (40.6 cm). Each dog must return its ball all the way across the start line before the next dog crosses. Ideal running is nose-to-nose at the start line. The winning team is the one that has all four dogs cross the finish line without an error. If the ball is dropped or the next relay dog is released too early, teams are penalized.

Category: Dog Stories

The Truth Revealed About Your Dog's Real Age!

July 12, 2010

You sit, looking at your dog that has been with you for a countless number of years. You wonder…”If Spot was actually a human…how old would he be? Would he still play ball, or sit under the tree in the garden like Grandpa?”…Well dogs age differently and the magical 7 years does not always apply. Euro Puppy is proud to present some very interesting and useful statistics -that was performed in the US. The results are based on a chart developed by Dr. Fred L. Metzger, State College, PA. All dog-lovers who want to know the real age of their dogs…in human years, look at your dog’s age…then look at what weight category in pounds he or she belongs to. You will then see the age equivalent in human years.

Dog Age

It is also important to note that larger breeds of dogs have a shorter life span than smaller dogs, and a small dog may mature more quickly in the first few years than a large dog would.

Category: Dog Facts

Why Do Dogs' Eyes Glow in the Dark?

July 12, 2010

You have most probably seen that your dog’s eyes glow at night, like flourescent globes. Ever wonder why they do that? Well it has a rather simple scientific explanation. Dogs have a mirror-like layer of cells called the tapetum lucidum (bright carpet in Latin) at the back of their eyes. Humans do not possess these cells. The job of these cells is to improve a dog’s vision in dim light. It achieves this by reflecting light back to the retina. The more light the retina receives the more information it has to work with to translate that light into images. So when you see your dog’s eyes as glowing spheres in the dark, what you’re actually seeing is light being reflected by the tapetum lucidum cells, so that images can be formed. Otherwise, without these cells, dogs would be unable to see at night. The eyes of many animals -including dogs – will also reflect yellow, green, or other colors in flash photography as well. It is called the “green-eye effect” or the “green eyeshine” in animals. In humans on the other hand, the opposite “red-eye effect” is a problem because, with no tapetum lucidum layer to block the light, it reaches the blood-rich region at the back of the eye and causes a brilliant red image of it to be focused back through the lens of the eye, giving even the nicest people red, glowing, demonic eyes in flash photographs.

doberman with glowing eyes

Category: Dog Facts

What is a Teacup Puppy?

July 12, 2010

“Teacup” is a weight category which means 4-pounds or less. Teacup puppies are not common. Research has shown that Teacup births are substantially less than 1% of all dog births. Teacups, when compared to the general dog population, are very rare – and the demand far exceeds the supply. Teacup puppies have always existed and it seems like they are more prevalent today because of all the publicity they have gotten recently as a result of their celebrity owners. Teacup puppies are as expensive as they are, because they are difficult to breed, and they require a lot of extra attention at birth. Since they are so fragile, often weighing 2-4 ounces at birth, they require a lot of care and 24-hour attention for 2 or 3 weeks. Secondly, since the demand is so high for Teacups, with demand far exceeding supply, the price is higher. The benefits of owning a Teacup puppy can be mostly attributed to their small size. Teacups are extremely portable, making them great traveling companions for everyday activities like going to the mall or dining out. Airline companies also allow Teacups to travel in the main passenger cabin as opposed to bigger dogs that are required to travel in the cargo area of the plane. Teacups are great for senior citizens who cannot lift heavy dogs, and they are great for apartment owners because they don’t need to go for walks – an apartment provides all the exercise space they need. Many dog owners equate a Teacup puppy to having a dog that always remains puppy-sized. And the life expectancy of a Teacup puppy? Well, contrary to popular belief, a Teacup puppy will often live 15-20 years, which in many cases is a better life expectancy than that of bigger dogs.

Teacup Puppies in Japan
A pet shop in Japan is breeding teacup-sized puppies to meet the popular demand from the market. These would be the canine equivalents of Bonsai trees! The pictures show little “Teacups” at age 3 weeks. Current weight of these puppies is 150 grams (5 ounces) and they are estimated to weigh approximately 1.5kg (3 lbs) as adult dogs. Buyers are willing to pay up to as much as USD 5473 for this small-sized puppy.

Teacup Puppy in Japan

Teacup Puppies

Category: Dog Stories

The Origin and Evolution of Dogs

July 12, 2010

Dogs (and wolves and foxes) are descended from a small, weasel-like mammal called Miacis which was a tree-dwelling creature and existed about 40 million years ago. Dogs, as we know them today, first appeared in Eurasia about 13,000 years ago, and were probably a direct descendant of a small, grey wolf (not from the type of jackal or jackal/wolf as previously thought). Dogs were first domesticated by cavemen in the Paleolithic age and gradually developed (or were bred) into the breeds known today. All dogs, from the German Shepherd to the tiny Poodle, are direct descendants of wolves. They can all breed together and produce fertile offspring. Technically they are of the same species. But before that, wolves descended from a species knows as the Tomarctus – a creature that roamed the earth over 15 million years ago.

This is what a Tomarctus looked like. Not much of a Poodle, but certain canine features are indeed noticable…

The Tomarctus

Category: Dog Stories
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